The government’s failure to properly fund schools has reached a tipping point in the province’s French-language school division, where the board has been forced to delay payday for teachers. The extreme measure comes on the heels of a round of deep cuts in those schools.
In a letter from the teachers’ association to its members, teachers at Conseil des Écoles Fransaskoises schools are told the board wants to delay June’s payday until the next funding deposit from the government. The request comes on the heels of $4.4 million in cuts at French-language schools – laying off teaching assistants and support workers and cutting programming.
“We have a strong economy, but the government has failed to translate that into better schools and classrooms,” said NDP Deputy Leader and education critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Cutting millions from classrooms and forcing a school board into a position where it has to delay payroll for teachers – that’s shocking, truly disturbing evidence of just how much this government is dropping the ball on the basics.
“It’s painful and unfair for students and teachers today, and a shameful way for this government to put our province’s future at risk.”
Wotherspoon said years of chronic underfunding have been exacerbated by the provincial budget, which called on teachers to do more with even less.
“Classrooms are crowded and have more students with complex needs than ever before,” said Wotherspoon. “Cutting staff and cutting supports make absolutely no sense. Why is this government willing to spend untold millions on consultants and efficiency programs like the fat Lean experiment, but not willing to properly fund the teachers, educational assistants, supplies and supports our kids need?”
Wotherspoon called on the government for immediate mid-year funding adjustments to stop the cuts in schools throughout the province – including an immediate adjustment for French-language schools.